EU Pledges Further Aid to Burma

Posted February 13th, 2012 at 3:55 am (UTC-5)
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European Union officials visiting Burma hinted at further easing of sanctions during a meeting Monday with the Southeast Asian nation's civilian government.

European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced an EU pledge to provide nearly $200 million in aid over the next two years.

Lower house speaker Shwe Mann promised Piebalgs that April by-elections would be free and fair. The EU eased travel bans against Burma's leaders in January and promised further action if reforms continue.

Burma's military-backed civilian government took office in a 2010 election that was marred by complaints of cheating and intimidation. However, the government has since released political prisoners, negotiated a cease-fire with ethnic rebels and allowed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party back into politics.